This beautifully written novel takes place in the Appalachians of North Carolina during World War I. Laurel Shelton and her brother have experienced deep grief and hardship growing up in a cove their farming neighbors and the townspeople of Mars Hill believe is haunted and cursed.Laurel’s emotional salvation appears as a stranger who cannot speak, but who can play a silver flute so beautifully she mistakes the music for a birdsong.
The Cove is a dramatic southern tale of struggle, superstition, bigotry, and love. The ending may have a few surprises, but the story will enthrall you. Author Ron Rash’s previous novel, Serena, was a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and is another wonderful novel with intriguing characters and engaging descriptions of life in the mountains.
If you haven’t read it, the summer is a great time to lose yourself in turn-of-the-century New York and become engrossed in the life of Francie Nolan and her family in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This coming-of-age story is full of historic details and accents that bring the neighborhood and its many characters to life, even when life for the Nolan family is full of cruelty, injustice, and hardship. Francie’s childhood is bittersweet as she struggles to survive and find inspiration to learn, grow, and move beyond her neighborhood. It’s a small scale American epic and a thoughtful expression of the emotions that make us human—and what it takes to make us truly happy.
In this engaging book, New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, discusses an important reality about life. People succeed when they identify habits that shape their lives and learn how to change them. The concept that you can change your habits is supported by research in psychology and neurology. The author steps you through the process of catching yourself in your habit and re-designing a better habit. A habit is comprised of three steps: the cue, the routine and the reward. The author reveals the ways that corporations and successful organizations create success. The author provides interesting and relevant examples of major behavior changes brought about by recognizing habits, and also provides us with the keys to how to change them. The book also points out ways others such as advertisers are attempting to manipulate consumers’ behavior. This is an interesting read as well as a self-help book to create personal, positive changes.
Life is pretty perfect for London psychiatrist Joseph O’Loughlin. He’s happily married, a loving father, and an expert consultant for the police. After he is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he’s consumed by the reality of the inevitable deterioration of his brain and body. But when Joe is called in to consult on a local murder, he realizes he actually knows the victim, and the tables turn to finger him as a suspect.
Sharp dialog and three dimensional characters make this London Thriller a winner. It’s the first in Robotham’s list of mysteries that revolve around Joe O’Loughlin and related characters. The latest novel in the series is Bleed for Me (2012).
This raw, emotionally charged, over-the-top memoir tells the story of the author’s solo hike along eleven-hundred miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, the challenges and dangers of the trail matched in intensity by the memories and uncertainties of her ravaged personal life. From the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State, Cheryl’s descriptions of her experiences on the trail are told so vividly, the reader practically can feel the blisters forming! But this if far more than a travel memoir, as Cheryl transparently shares her innermost thoughts, her pain and regrets, right alongside her joys and triumphs gained along the trail.
This is the “buzz” book of the summer thanks to the psychological plot that pits husband against wife. When Amy and Nick Dunne leave their well-heeled life in New York City to return to Nick’s southern hometown after the economic downturn, their marriage also takes a turn. With less pillow talk and more secrets, their relationship is tested until something unexpected and frightening puts their marriage under the microscope.
Gone Girl is a page-turner that’s full of plot twists and surprises, so read it before your friends do. This is the third novel by Gillian Flynn, (Sharp Objects, 2006; Dark Places, 2009), so if you don’t want to wait for your copy of Gone Girl, check out this author’s earlier work and enjoy Flynn’s special version of psychological thrillers.
Another suggestion from library staff!
I just finished reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King and I will tell you up front that I believe Mr. King to be the greatest American writer of my generation. I tell you this so that you will know that I always dive into a new book of his full of excitement and anticipation. That being said, I wasn’t sure what to expect when beginning this book. The description of the plot did not seem like a typical one for King. He is famous for his creepy horror and this seemed more like a science-fiction novel about time travel and the ramifications of changing the past. As it turns out, it has a little of both genres woven into the story. But the true surprise here is that, at its heart, this is really a story of finding true love and facing the possibility of losing it. This is definitely not Mr. King’s normal tableau but he handles it with his usual down-to-earth realism and with heart-rending beauty. I will not say any more about the story or plot here because I would hate to ruin it for those who choose to read the book. In short, I will just tell you that I loved this book. I think it is one of the best novels of Stephen King’s very prolific career and certainly the best in recent years. I heartily recommend it to all.
This book appeals to gardeners and White House enthusiasts alike. Mrs. Obama outlines the gardens through each season, providing a layout of the grounds with accompanying pictures. White House chefs and executive gardeners provide information and recipes with step by step directions as well. The First Lady also speaks about some of her healthy lifestyle campaign, Let’s Move!. Political or not, this book is a great resource for first time gardeners providing hints, tips, and anecdotes.
A classic, “The Little Prince” is a gem for both children and adults. One of my fellow Library employees says, “one of my ALL TIME favs is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I read it at least once a year. It’s funny that he wrote other books – Wind, Sand and Stars and Night Flight but both were so different from the Little Prince (his masterpiece). I even keep extra copies to give friends who have never read it – it is so precious to me.”
Sometimes it’s not about reading newly released books but reading the ones that are special enough to be relevant years later.
In the highly anticipated sequel to “A Discovery of witches”, author Deborah Harkness takes her audience farther into the story of Matthew and Diana, a centuries old vampire and reluctant witch. Beginning where the first book left off, “Shadow of night” immerses the reader in Elizabethan England, 1590 — a world where Matthew knows Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh. Soon, Diana realizes that there is a great deal about Matthew that she did not know, but that will not stop her on their quest to find Ashmole 782.
Harkness takes readers on a whirlwind journey, whisking her characters into deadly situations, heartbreaking tragedies and hopeful moments. In the end, the novel is just as heartwarming as the first, leaving us yearning to see the conclusion of Matthew and Diana’s great love story.